The holiday season has arrived and with it, all those wonderful family get-togethers, terrific meals, parties, snacks, more great meals, and then all those great leftovers, and more cakes, cookies, and pies. You get the picture! Unfortunately, so does your body, including your teeth and gums. This sudden nutritional change can put you and your dental health under serious stress.

The key is nutritional balance. The real problem is the constant bombardment of sugars and starches in the mouth that combine to fuel the plaque-producing bacteria that attack your tooth enamel. Saliva, your natural bacteria cleanser, becomes overwhelmed, and the plaque takes up permanent residence. So here are some helpful hints to get you through to the new year happy and healthy.

Along with all the holiday goodies, make sure you eat good amounts of green, orange, and yellow vegetables and fruits for their high vitamin A and D content. Your body will also give thanks for regular high-fiber breakfasts and snacks. Citrus fruits, yogurt, and other dairy products will provide plaque-fighting vitamins and minerals. Try to avoid constant sugary snacks, and don’t sip sugar-filled sodas for long periods of time.

But please make sure you give your oral and nutritional health a helping hand during the holiday season by taking the occasional time out from all those temptations. And never ever forget to brush and floss after every meal.